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History Program hosts 52 scholars at New Deal Symposium

06.25.2015 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
Slabach Opens New Deal Conference

‌The Texas Wesleyan campus hosted the Third Annual New Deal Symposium on Saturday, June 27.

Sponsored by the Texas Wesleyan History Program and the East Texas Historical Association, the day was opened by Texas Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach and Scott Sosebee, executive director of the East Texas Historical Association.

President Slabach said that research, such as that presented at this conference, "enhances what takes place in the classroom and translates into the individualized attention that faculty at Texas Wesleyan provide to students."

The New Deal of the 1930s had a profound and long-lasting effect on the United States. Presentations at the conference covered a diverse array of subjects ranging from public housing in Austin to the planned community of Dalworthington Gardens, New Deal art, music and the Supreme Court. The symposium was attended by 52 regional scholars.

Matthews and Alexander New Deal Conference

One presentation directly relevant to the history of Texas Wesleyan during the New Deal was "Eating the Tuition: Texas Wesleyan University During the Depression" by Texas Wesleyan historians Brenda Matthews and Elizabeth Alexander. Together, they recounted the turbulent financial history of Texas "Women's" and then "Wesleyan" College during the Great Depression.

A complete account of their findings will be published later this year in book form: Texas Wesleyan University: 125 Years in the Making.‌

Another Texas Wesleyan faculty member, Barbara Kirby, presented "A Stitch in Time: Two Historical Institution Challenges to Strategic Interpretations of the New Deal Supreme Court."

For information about next year's New Deal Symposium, visit the East Texas Historical Association website.

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